Football 3 years ago

The man behind Wanderers' revival

  • The man behind Wanderers' revival

He is the man who not only laid the foundation for Western Sydney's Spanish armada to blossom, but transformed the club's entire footballing philosophy in just six months.

For three years, the Wanderers were defined by a counter-attacking mantra that took them first to an A-League grand final, then to the top of Asia.

But the introduction of three Spanish midfielders over the winter signalled a changing of the guard in Blacktown, and it meant Tony Popovic needed someone to help translate the new style in the right language.

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Enter former Barcelona youth coach Andres Carrasco, who midfielder Andreu says has been pivotal to the club's resurgence to the top of the A-League table after just 10 weeks.

"I wasn't here last season, but he's doing a very good job," Andreu told AAP.

"He's bringing things from Spain, from Barcelona, where we try and keep the ball.

"He's good in set pieces too, but the key is possession for us."

Andreu, Dimas, and defender Alberto have formed a solid platform in the centre of Popovic's line-up over the first third of the season, missing just four matches between them.

Andreu, who worked with Carrasco at FC Dinamo Tbilisi in Georgia in 2012, said Carrasco's appointment was critical in the transition of the Spanish influx over the off-season.

"For Alberto, to translate is very important. And for Dimas as well," Andreu said.

However, the 32-year-old said it was significant for Popovic to put his faith in Carrasco to help develop the Spanish possession-based football style.

"The most important is that the coach, Popovic, wants to play like that and the coach wants to bring us and bring Andres," he said.

"And then, Andres bring the style from Spain. I can not change my style, and Dimas and Alberto (can't) as well. I think Popovic wants this kind of style, and this is key."

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